Paresh Sagar is the CEO of Excellent Webworld , IoT, Web and Mobile App Development Company.
Here is a short yet detailed guide on Flutter for cross-platform mobile app development. Let’s check what all you are going to learn from this.
First, I will introduce you to Flutter, and then we will review its pros and cons for developing a mobile app. And at the end of this article, I will share my insights about the future of Flutter.
As per the latest Statista report, Flutter is becoming the developer's first choice in mobile app development. Compared to the past few years, the number of Flutter framework users is increasing. Moreover, as an open-source framework by Google, it has built a vast community worldwide. It helps in making the development process easier yet problem-solving.
But first, do you know what Flutter is? No? Let's begin with understanding it.
"Flutter is Google's UI toolkit for building beautiful, natively compiled applications for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase." - Google.
In straightforward terms, Flutter is a free, open-source mobile UI framework created and released by Google in May 2017.
Flutter allows you to create a new cross-platform mobile application in a shorter period of time as compared to other frameworks. It means you can use a single codebase for iOS and Android.
Flutter consists of 2 crucial aspects, they are also its traits:
1. SDK (Software Development Kit)
The software development kit is a collection of tools you will use while creating your applications. It also includes compilation code for iOS and Android.
A framework contains UI Library, which is based on widgets. UI has reusable elements like buttons, text inputs, sliders, and many more. You can personalize that as per your needs!
To start mobile app development using Flutter, you must know a programming language called Dart.
For Your Information: The language Dart was created by Google in October 2011. However, it has enhanced much more over these past years. Dart focuses on Front-end development.
As you have read above, Flutter is known for its reusability, allowing you to write just one code for both platforms. That minimizes the development time significantly! Also, it helps in avoiding extra costs and enables the speed of launching your app 2X faster!
Pros of Flutter for Cross-Platform App Development
There are many reasons why Flutter is used for cross-platform applications. Let’s check out!
Easy Adaption and Compatibility
If we look at the easy adaption, adopting various operating systems like iOS, Android, or any monolithic OS like Linux OS is way easier with Flutter.
This framework works on Google's programming language, Dart, which may not seem as famous as Python or Java. Anyway, it is easier to adopt, even for a beginner!
It may take 1 or 2 weeks to learn, but once it is done, there is no going back! Also, its documentation process is much simpler as compared to others.
Flutter's this kind of efficiency and straightforward nature make it more adopted by developers worldwide.
Smooth Development Cycle
Any Flutter mobile app developer or any Flutter app development company knows how smooth the development cycle Flutter provides!
The development cycle of Flutter helps understand app development's smooth progression. Also, there are various stages of a development cycle, making this process easier.
To be honest, I was not a fan of mobile application development before I started using Flutter!
Flutter is a modern framework. Don't believe my words; you can feel it if you have worked with Java, Swift, or React Native! You will notice how Flutter is different!
Less coding makes Flutter the number one choice of mobile app developers.
Of course, we're going to articulate this. You know Flutter's hot reload feature is remarkably a great development aspect!? It saves hours' worth of time and does wonders for developers' sanity.
Practically hot reload is a feature that allows all the developers to make changes in the code and see the effects of that change in real-time!
It makes it easier when you want to have a developer-designer collab-session and want to try new stuff. At that time, you do not have to reboot the system to see the newly done changes. For example, if you want to change the button shade a little darker or make the icon a pixel larger, or anything you want to do is now faster and easier with hot reload!
Every coin has two sides! Flutter is famous for its advantages but let me share some drawbacks.
Anyways, with the increase in time, it's converting its drawbacks into advantages!
Cons of Flutter for Cross-Platform App Development
Every coin has two sides. Let’s look into the disadvantages of using Flutter for Hybrid app development.
The requirements of upgrading any operating system require updating Flutter modules. Modules in programs are fixed elements. They have to be recompiled and reinstalled on the devices.
As we know, Flutter is a newcomer in this field; therefore, it is a bit unstable. Developers are finding small daily challenges in the UI of iOS and Android. It feels like it still needs some improvements to handle large-sized applications.
Fewer Libraries – Lack of Third Party Integration
Flutter being a new cross-platform app development framework, has most of the functions in alpha or beta testing, so they may not always work correctly.
In some cases, the platform is still under finalization. Hence, not all the time can you get the necessary functions in the current library. You will not be able to use such libraries in such cases. Also, there's a lack of options to choose from. It doesn't allow using third-party libraries.
One of the main cons of Flutter app development is that Flutter apps are relatively heavy in size. The app's size is more significant compared to other frameworks. And because of that, they colonize a lot of space and take a longer time to complete any downloads or updates.
Flutter framework shows a larger size; for example, if it's a 4 MB Flutter app, the same app will weigh 500kb on other platforms. Anyway, Google will fix this too in a considerable time.
Flutter holds a very bright future in mobile app development.
Why? Let me tell you the core reasons:
Flutter uses the same code for every platform, whether it's an iOS, Android, or any other Linux kernel OS.
Easy documentation. It means that Flutter'sFlutter's documentation is easier and straightforward to understand.
It has impressive widgets, and also it offers out-the-box designs! It keeps adding new designs to the libraries. This is why Flutter is also a renowned choice among the app design services providing companies.
Flutter has a vast community worldwide. It helps make the development and running time of any program-solving process faster.
It has an open-source SDK(Software Development Kit) backed by Google.
Flutter is equipped with a hot reload feature, making it easy for designers and developers to see the changes quickly and instantly!
Conclusively, these reasons define how bright the future of Flutter is! Though it has some drawbacks, it is leading in the race of cross-platform mobile app development frameworks.